Can You Travel With Pot Within the US? - HØJ

Can You Travel With Pot Within the US?

Estimated 3-minute read

About a year ago, as I was planning a weekend trip from Seattle to Portland, I started wondering if I should bring a little weed gummy with me, just to make the trip a little bit more fun. I thought why not? I know that the recreational use of marihuana is legal in both Washington State and Oregon, and both states are connected. So it shouldn’t be any trouble, right? Well… something still felt wrong. And when in doubt, one should (almost) always google. Here’s what I found.


Can You Pack Marihuana When You Travel Within the US?

The short and safe answer is no. Even if you find yourself in my situation––traveling among states where its recreational use is legal––you should never try it. Here’s why. 

When traveling to a different state, whether it is by air or land, you will most likely find yourself passing through federal jurisdiction. Airspace is always federal territory, and borders between states as well as interstate highways generally fall under federal jurisdiction as well.


Why is Federal Jurisdiction an Issue for Traveling With Pot?

Well, it’s simple. According to the Controlled Substances Act, it is still illegal to use or possess cannabis on a national level. It is therefore a crime to carry marihuana within federal territory. So, technically you’d be breaking three laws if you leave a state with marihuana. As Larry Mishkin, a Northbrook, Ill., lawyer at the Hoban Law Group puts it: “you’ve broken the law of the state that you purchased it in, you’ve broken the law of the state that you’re going into, and you’ve broken federal law.” 

So, What Can You Do If You Find Out You Have Weed in Your Bag?

If you find yourself in a train station and you remember that you have some pot in your bag, you can simply discard it by throwing it in a trashcan, or in the bathroom, where there are no cameras. 

You can do the same thing if this happens to you as you arrive at an airport, and there you can even find what is called an amnesty box to discard marihuana. These are sometimes found in airports located in states where the use of recreational cannabis is legal, and it is a safe place to get rid of your cannabis before traveling, without any trouble. 

What Happens if the TSA Finds Weed in Your Luggage?

Honestly, it’s still very unclear. Although TSA agents are technically looking specifically for weapons and bombs, and not drugs, there might still be consequences. And they tend to be pretty subjective depending sometimes even on the mood of the agent that’s inspecting your bags. 

As a general rule of thumb to consider though, if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will most likely refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.

What About CBD? 

Fortunately, as of right now, according to the TSA web page, traveling with CBD products is allowed as long as the product contains no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or if the product is approved by FDA.

What Should You Make of All This?

To make your life easier, simply avoid traveling with marihuana at all costs. I can hardly find any circumstances where you should do it. Remember that this is an industry where it’s simply not worth taking chances. Regulations are constantly changing and oftentimes unclear and easy to misinterpret. However, if you want to travel with marihuana for medical reasons, you should speak to your doctor and/or seek legal counsel for your specific case. 


Author: Haze


Compton, N. (2021). 6 Questions About Traveling With Marihuana, Answered. Webpage. Retrieved from 

Editorial Staff of Road Affair (2021). Everything You Need to Know About Traveling with Cannabis.Webpage. Retrieved from 

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